Awhile ago, A and I were looking at a few races for this weekend. I had that I had to run a 5K. There was one about 4 miles away. Then I saw an 8K between A's and my house. D was fine with the 8K. A said she was too, so we all signed up for it. Then A said, "Did you see the course, and all those hills?" My thought was, "A, do you know those hills that are between our houses? That would probably be what we were running." My attitude despite my long hiatus on running was a bit cocky. I knew every street but one and have run every street on the course but that one (although none of them together).
As the day came closer, I got a little more worried as I would drive home and drive up those hills. Then I saw the 8K was a run/walk, and stopped.
Friday, D didn't have to work so he got our packets. We ate pizza and went to bed early...really no different from any other Friday for us. Saturday the race was late for us...9am. We got up at 730 which was confusing because normally we are already out (have to incorporate running and tailgating). So we putzed around and finally left the house at 820.
|Me and D|
The race was sponsored by the Atlanta Beltline and they had the Councilwoman speak. D and I live on the other side of the tracks from A, and it is amazing how much we think differently about her and her helping "the neighborhood." She pretty much neglects ours, but loves A's. A's neighborhood average income is a lot higher than ours. Her neighborhood has way less blight than ours. And across more tracks...I don't think that councilwoman would know what to do (yes, that's her district too). So we talked about that for a few minutes. Then we lined up on Englewood going towards Boulevard, and were off. About 4 minutes late.
Everyone passed me. There was no starting mat although it was a chipped race. No whoop. I took it easy down the hill. Then we went up Boulevard and turned East. That is the trick through SE Atlanta, usually. Run East/West for flat. Run North/South for hills. I couldn't wait for 9 minutes to come. I may have passed one person. Lots of people were out...we were in the BoHo area. We ran down a hill to Confederate. The cops were holding traffic. I saw they were holding a MARTA bus, and wondered how they were going to do that. Turns out, they let the bus come through. But that was about it. I was between .5 and .75 miles, and started feeling good. Then something happened. I'm not sure what. My foot caught a ridge. My other foot tried to stop it. I did that weird motion where you are trying to get your balance but at the same time you are going down. "Not my knees, not my knees," I thought. Then boom. It would have been a sliding belly flop if I had been in a pool. The palms of my hands hit and slid out hard, and everything else hit at once. I remembered to close my mouth to prevent my teeth from breaking. "I'm ok, " I was getting ready to say. Except no one was around me. I got up and looked at my knees. They weren't bleeding, so I started running. This all took about 15 seconds. It was weird. I got about twenty feet and noticed intense pain in my right hand. I run with my hands in a fist so I saw it was all red. I opened it up and there was blood everywhere. By this point, I had to turn and run up a hill. My East/West Theory was blown, as it was a big hill to get back to Boulevard. I thought about running back to the starting line since I was only a mile in. Then I thought about my tattoo. Guinness crossed the starting line. She needed to cross the finish line. So I decided to keep going.
Boulevard to Atlanta was uneventful. Lots of traffic stopped. The APD were awesome with this. I got to Atlanta, and the cops were cheering us on. By now I was sure I was back of the pack. Not a lot of people were in front of me. I got down the hill and to the water stop. The guy saw my hand and dumped some water on it, and off I went. At Intown Healthy Hound (the pups' dog store) tons of people were out. I don't know who, but someone yelled, "Go Allison!" That made me feel good. I knew this part of the course, and just ran. My hand was throbbing. My HR was in the 180s, but my heart didn't feel bad, so I kept at it. We turned on Hill.
More people were cheering us on. One lady recognized me. Now I have run Hill a zillion times. And where we turned off of it...um, I never noticed that street. So we turned again, and then we're in D.H. Stanton Park. Again, cops and volunteers were cheering us on. The park seemed pretty nice. I can't believe I didn't know it was there. I got out of it and another water stop. I poured more water on my hand (it was really gross, because it was combining with sweat and wet). My hand was burning. I guess that's why it is road burn. I started up a hill to Capitol Ave. At that time 9 minutes passed and I started walking. This guy caught up to me. He said the hills were killing him. I said to be aware, because the next mile was up hill. The cop heard me and started laughing. Then he said, "She's not lying." So we turned off Capitol and onto Milton. I was slowing down. The sun was out and bright. My hand hurt. I had 2 miles left. I couldn't figure out how they were going to get 2 miles from here. Then they took us up Lakewood. There's how. More uphill. (D and A both said they walked this part).
When I got up to McDonough, Historic South Atlanta was representing...some guy poured more water on my hand. Then I turned onto McDonough. I always run this road. It was cool to finally run it without the danger of being hit by a car. Down to the Chosewood Park Neighborhood and through Chosewood Park. I didn't really pay attention. I knew I had another hill to climb. The volunteer told me I had one more hill. I said, "Then I get to Climax." He didn't get it. So I finished the hill and turned onto Grant. I ran a little more. I could see D. He was standing at the street sign. We got to Climax together...(I'm such a kid). I showed him my hand and then continued. I was almost back to the playing fields. I got back on Englewood and saw I had one more hill. I hadn't been paying attention to my time, because at this point, finishing was my goal. I got over the hill, and saw the finish, and it said 67 something. I knew all my 5 milers were in the 70s, so I was going to PR. I sped up a little. And finally crossed.
We got my hand some water. This was probably the hardest course I have ever run.
|Hand Cleaned off|
A and D already had their shirts so I went and got mine. We talked a little and then said our good-byes. D and I went home. We decided that my hand was ok enough to go on a date.
|Hand Fixed to Drink at Wrecking Bar|
|Hand still able to hold beer!|